Does NSA transparency put national security at risk? Readers debate.


(NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY…)

Often Internet comments are terrible, but The Switch is different. We've been happy to see a lot of comments from engaged and thoughtful readers. Here are some of our favorites.

On Friday, President Obama announced a four-point plan to boost NSA transparency. Post Reader in Baltimore asked, "I'm all for transparency, but at what point does the transparency risk national security?" Reader UnarmedWitsCompetitor offered his answer:

A quote from one of Ezra Klein's articles a month back that distinguishes between what should and should not be classified:

"Surveillance types make a distinction between secrecy of laws, secrecy of procedures and secrecy of operations. The expectation is that the laws that empower or limit the government’s surveillance powers are always public. The programs built atop those laws are often secret. And the individual operations are almost always secret. As long as the public knows about and agreed to the law, the thinking goes, it’s okay for the government to build a secret surveillance architecture atop it."

The distinction is that laws should be transparent, and procedures and ops should be classified national security.

Also on Friday, Hayley Tsukayama made the case that the Wii U's weak sales reflect Nintendo's over-reliance on nostalgia. But Bryan Herbert suggested another explanation for the company's difficulties: Recent games just haven't been very good.

The Nintendo of today isn't like the Nintendo of the 1980s. Though the graphics are better, the games and systems just aren't as diverse. I bought a DSi in 2009 and many of the DS games were not compatible with the DSi. The worst part is the packaging isn't marked to say 'not compatible' -- I'd buy a game, get it home and would have to take it right back because it wouldn't work on the DSi. Not to mention most games have the same fantasy plot and can be completed within three days. I got tired of this and stopped buying games.

On Thursday, I noted that while dial-up usage is declining, AOL still has more than 2 million dial-up customers. Smart-alecky (or maybe just confused) reader irachin asked, "What's dial-up?" Even more smart-alecky reader fairwater responded: "It's the relative of dial soap." For the record, dial-up was described as an early method of Internet connectivity involving carrier pigeons. Full technical details can be found in RFC 1149.

Brian Fung covers technology for The Washington Post, focusing on telecommunications and the Internet. Before joining the Post, he was the technology correspondent for National Journal and an associate editor at the Atlantic.

business/technology

the-switch

Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Comments
Show Comments
Most Read Business

business/technology

the-switch

Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Next Story
Brian Fung · August 10, 2013